Authors: Heather Rainier
Divine Creek Ranch 10
Every woman wants a fairy-tale ending, but Lily Valentine has given up on that. Other women may get their happily ever after, but what she lives is more like a nightmare. Admitted loner Clay Cook has heard all the stereotypes about artists and even lived some of them. He struggles with his craft, wondering if his best work is behind him.
Mortally ill, Lily flees to Divine, barreling headlong into Clay’s life from the distant past. Clay’s brother Del returns from a lengthy deployment, suffering from deep trauma of his own, at a loss for how to move on from it. In an effort to remake herself, Lily unintentionally does more harm than good.
As Lily Valentine rises from the ashes of her former life, jealousy is sparked and danger comes calling. Will Clay and Del be able to save her when her old life tries to reclaim her?
Note: There is no sexual relationship or touching for titillation between or among siblings.
Contemporary, Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Western/Cowboys
Divine Creek Ranch 10
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Ménage Everlasting
Copyright © 2012 by Heather Rainier
E-book ISBN: 978-1-61926-792-3
First E-book Publication: June 2012
Cover design by Les Byerley
All art and logo copyright © 2012 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
Kelly Clarkson. Lyrics. “Mr. Know It All.”
RCA. © 2011.
Nickelback. Lyrics. “If Everyone Cared.”
All the Right Reasons.
Roadrunner. © 2005.
Nickelback. Lyrics. “Everything I Wanna Do.”
Here and Now.
Roadrunner, Universal Music Canada. © 2011.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.
Siren Publishing, Inc.
Letter to Readers
If you have purchased this copy of
by Heather Rainier from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
Regarding E-book Piracy
This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.
The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.
This is Heather Rainier’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Rainer’s right to earn a living from her work.
Amanda Hilton, Publisher
To the man of my dreams, my husband.
And to You, the woman who believed a man when he told you that you weren’t worth much. He was wrong. You’re worth everything. Rise from the ashes, baby.
I am blessed with the best, most supportive readers on the planet. This book was written for all the women (and men) who e-mail me or interact with me on Facebook. If I’m there to “build a network” at all, it’s a network of readers because I do love talking with you.
This book never would’ve been possible if it were not for some late-night chats with friends, especially Luna Wildwood and Corinne Davies.
Thank you to the readers and authors that populate Righteous Perverts. A girl never had a more creative, unique, naughty, talented, supportive group to back her. Between the chat room and the private Facebook group, you really keep me in stitches. Thanks especially to D.H. Johnson for professional input.
My family and friends have been so supportive. Sometimes it must seem like I fall off the face of the planet, but they are always there when I come back to Earth. Thanks especially to my girls.
I owe a debt of gratitude to my critique partner, Corinne Davies, who understands doubt and other demons late in the night.
If readers find my stories to be polished and well developed, my characters lovable and so real they could almost touch them, it’s because I have the best editor on the planet. Thanks, Caroline Acebo, for sticking with me, even when I’m sure you wanted to pound your head against the desk.
Thank you to my mentor and publisher, Diana DeBalko. Your intuitive guidance and wisdom as I began this journey were a priceless gift I was blessed to receive. Your late-night phone calls and words of advice have kept me on the right path, and I’m more grateful than words can adequately express. It’s ironic for a writer to say that, but you know where my heart is coming from.
CAST OF MAIN CHARACTERS IN BOOK READING ORDER
Grace (Stuart) Warner
worked at Stigall’s Department Store and is co-owner of Harper Embroidery. She is also invested in, and works at Discretion, a ladies’ adults only boutique located in Morehead.
Jack Warner, Ethan Grant, and Adam Davis.
These three distant cousins are owners of The Divine Creek Ranch, a horse ranch specializing in the breeding of Andalusian horses. Jack is also a building contractor. Adam is an HVAC and electrical contractor. Ethan co-owns The Dancing Pony nightclub, located in Divine.
They have one daughter, Rose Marie.
Her Gentle Giant (Part One & Two)
Rachel (Lopez) Wolf
was employed at Thorne Home Theater as a bookkeeper. She now does the books for Discretion and is a new stay-at-home mom.
was one of the bouncers at The Dancing Pony, and is now licensed as an EMT.
They have one son, Levi Elias Wolf.
Teresa (Palacios) Martinez
worked at Stigall’s with Grace and is now invested in Discretion and works there part time when not caring for her children.
Angel Martinez and Joaquin Martinez
are brothers and horse breeding specialists who handle the breeding operation on The Divine Creek Ranch.
They have two sons, Michael and Eleazar.
Rosemary’s Double Delight
Rosemary (Piper) Garner
splits her time between the family business Cheaver’s Western Store and her husbands’ business, Garner Custom Furniture.
Wes and Evan Garner
are brothers and self-employed custom furniture craftsmen who have known Rosemary since kindergarten.
Spurs and Heels
Juliana (Meyer) Peterson
, an admitted perfectionist, was the manager of Stigall’s Department Store and is now a buyer for Discretion Boutique.
, a former bareback bronc riding champion, is the foreman of The Divine Creek Ranch and runs all of the day-to-day operations.
They have a son named Will.
Maya’s Triple Dare
Maya (Daire) Warner
is a registered nurse specializing in obstetric and pediatric care. She works with Doctor Emma Guthrie-Rivers.
Kendall, Boone, and Richard Warner
are brothers, and first cousins of Jack Warner. They are partners in The MWTD Cattle Ranch, which backs up to the Divine Creek and borders The Divine Creek Ranch.
Summer (Heston) Webster
and her sister Margot are proprietors of Discretion, a ladies’ adults only boutique in nearby Morehead, Texas.
Ace Webster and Kemp Whittier
are adopted brothers who are also partners in a security and private investigation operation. Ace and Kemp have assisted a number of the heroes and heroines in Divine, Texas, including their wife, Summer.
Lydia’s Twin Temptation
Lydia (Webster) Carlisle
is a professional chef. She came to The Rockin’ C Ranch as a chef and wound up falling in love with both Chance and Clayton Carlisle. Her older brother, Ace, was not pleased.
Chance and Clayton Carlisle
are twin brothers who own The Rockin’ C Ranch, a very large cattle operation outside of Divine.
Their Divine Doctor
Doctor Emma Guthrie
is a family practitioner in Divine, Texas.
Duke Rivers and Gage Randall
are cousins who were raised as brothers. They are IT consultants and also work on a contract basis for Ace Webster and Kemp Whittier.
I hope you enjoy the tenth installment in the Divine Creek Ranch Collection…
Copyright © 2012
With fresh bruises throbbing under her skin and her heart in her throat, Lily King grabbed the shop ledger from the kitchen counter and left the house with the sound of hateful laughter ringing in her ears. On autopilot, she drove back to the mechanic shop. Her brother-in-law Dirk ignored her when she walked through the garage, which was just as well. She wondered if he knew his wife, Natalie, was fucking his brother, Lily’s husband, JT, whom he looked up to and revered so much. She doubted it. Maybe he’d been hiding from the truth just like Lily had.
With a hollow space growing larger and the nausea persisting, Lily completed the work on the ledger. The figures she’d written out looked like the scrawl of an elderly, infirm hand as she made her last entries. When everything was caught up, Lily took a notepad from the desk, and with an almost eerie clarity, she made a list of what she needed to pack and wrote a letter to Dirk.
She labeled the envelope with his name and tucked it in the top drawer of his desk where he’d find it when he reached in for a pen to write up his invoice orders for her. Dirk had never purposefully done anything mean to her, and she didn’t think he deserved what Natalie was doing to him. She hoped JT didn’t find it first. She didn’t want to give JT time to catch her before she could get away from Durst.
JT wouldn’t take too kindly to his wife leaving him. There was no way to deny that there was any love left between them, if there ever had been to begin with. For her part she knew there had been, when she’d fallen in love with him twelve years before.
He’d been undeniably charming, and unlike her looks, at thirty-eight, JT’s had only improved with age. His angelic face, chocolate-brown eyes, and rugged body hid the heart of a sadistic tyrant.
She could recall looking at him with love filling her heart as he’d told her he wanted her to wear his mark. She’d agreed, no questions asked. When he’d told her he needed her to work for him at the auto repair shop, she’d been happy to help, never complaining that she worked for them for free. That’s what family did for each other, he’d said. She felt like a clueless fool now as reality finally set in and she acknowledged that he looked upon her as his slave.
With all her tasks completed, she walked out into the garage. Firming her voice so he wouldn’t think anything was amiss, she called out, “Dirk, I’m done for the morning. I have to go to the office supply store and then I’m going to get groceries. I’ll be back right after lunch.”
“Okay.” Off in his own little world, he never even looked up.
Pretending to not see JT’s pickup turn into the back entrance of the parking lot, she pulled out of the front entrance. She shuddered with relief that he didn’t follow her. She had a limited amount of time to pack her things, go see her dad, and get the hell out of Durst, Texas. Once JT found out, he was going to go ballistic.